Painting with oil & hand embroidery 89cm x 116cm
Japanese women are obsessed with Futae-mabuta /二重瞼, an eyelid with a fold. It has become an absolute requirement of female beauty in Japan. Countless numbers of cosmetic surgery are available in the market in order to make their eyes appear to be larger.
Where did this national obsession come from? As can be seen in all my paintings, women obsessively make their eyes dis-proportionally larger by using extended fake eyelashes and mascara.
My study indicates that the requirements of female beauty were quite different before World War Two. Japanese women’s standards of female beauty changed immediately with the American military occupation of Japan following the war. Faced with the blonde hair and large blue eyes of wives of American military personnel, Japanese women associated the characteristic of large eyes with American victory and Western superiority, while rejecting their own slender eyes as the sign of inferiority as the loser of the war.
This perception has been deeply ingrained in the mass consciousness of Japanese women and after 60 years remains firmly implanted in the psyche of their grand daughters.